Puteri has sporotrichosis
Puteri is the beautiful little white kitten Mary picked up from the middle of the road while she was driving along in Taman Tun on 29th June.
Puteri looked sick, and was sent to our panel vet. She was diagnosed with flu and a skin problem.
The vet started treating her for flu, and only recently, has discovered that the skin problem is actually Sporotrichosis, a very serious fungal infection which is zoonotic (this means it can be transmitted to humans).
Sporotrichosis (also known as “Rose gardener’s disease”) is a disease caused by the infection of the fungus Sporothrix schenckii. This fungal disease usually affects the skin, although other rare forms can affect the lungs, joints, bones, and even the brain. Because roses can spread the disease, it is one of a few diseases referred to asrose-thorn or rose-gardeners’ disease.
Because S. schencki is naturally found in soil, hay,sphagnum moss, and plants, it usually affectsfarmers, gardeners, and agricultural workers. It enters through small cuts and abrasions in the skin to cause the infection. In case of sporotrichosis affecting the lungs, the fungal spores enter through the respiratory pathways. Sporotrichosis can also be acquired from handling cats with the disease; it is an occupational hazard for veterinarians.
Sporotrichosis progresses slowly and is hard to diagnose – the first symptoms may appear 1 to 12 weeks (average 3 weeks) after the initial exposure to the fungus. Serious complications can also develop in patients who have a compromised immune system.
Many vets do not allow sporotrichosis cats to be boarded at the clinic because of its contagious nature (it spreads through touch), but our panel vet is willing to treat Puteri and to board her.
The treatment is a drug called Itraconazole, and our vet is using the generic form as the actual one is far too expensive.
Treatment is expected to prolong for 2-3 months.
Here are photos of Puteri taken last week when I visited her. At that time, she was not diagnosed with Sporotrichosis yet, so I touched her. The Sporo, however, is located on her nose.
I washed my hands after that, so not to worry. It is always a good practice to do that as we can never be sure if the skin problem is zoonotic, or, even if it is not, it could be transmitted to another animal whom we touch later.
Previously, it was also thought that Sporotrichosis was not treatable and many vets would recommend euthanasia. It IS treatable. There is no guarantee of a cure, but we can always try as the medication is available. The same medication is used for humans who contract Sporotrichosis.
Puteri’s treatment will be partially sponsored from our funds. Mary will raise funds on her side too.
Get well soon, Puteri! And be a beautiful little kitten again.
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